Rant against the actors of the French economy!
If French companies continue to ignore the deeply subversive nature of the digital revolution and refuse to position themselves for the long term by developing their capacity for rebellion and by inventing a new relationship to the world and new social ties, we will lose the second digital revolution. like we lost the first one.
A lack of vision?
The observation is clear: no French digital company is able to position itself against the mainly American giants who are unwittingly building the world of tomorrow. The stakes are colossal both at the economic, human, ethical and ecological levels, and no voice in France is raised to mobilize economic players around this major issue of sovereignty. If we do not push our commitment and our level of thinking, we will lose the battle and our economic (and therefore political) influence. Why this blindness? Why this total absence of vision?
A brutal return of the strategic
The digital revolution for French companies consists of continuing to do what we do by switching to new tools. Switch to e-commerce, use your data in customer relations, be active on social networks, create a incubator business or investment fund, move to San Francisco, switch to start-up, recruit a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) or an innovation director. If digital transformation comes down to finding the best way to get an ad clicked, meet customer demand, or meet communication goals, it’s a failure.
Economic actors have not understood (or do not want to understand) the deeply subversive nature of this revolution which puts our economic survival at stake and will make us different beings. The vast majority of companies, start-ups included, have no other ambitions than to capture part of the existing value as quickly as possible rather than to position themselves for the long term by rethinking production relationships, exchanges and the social connection.
The days of marketing and promotion are over. This revolution signals a brutal return of the strategy largely forgotten since the 1980s and which requires rethinking its economic model, its profession and creating this rupture which is the final object of digital transformation: a shock strategy, a radically new offer in defiance of market conventions.
Think about the world
A strategy that requires deconstructing in order to reconstruct, reduce things to their fundamental truth and reason from there. Get out of technological neutrality and opinionless marketing to position oneself on convictions. Nothing will happen if the leaders do not increase their capacity for reflection and imagination by appropriating a new role: to think the world; plan for the future, understand in depth what will happen and get started; “A reason for being”.
If the difficulty of preserving a profitable activity and investing for the long term is a real challenge, all companies nevertheless have the capacity to reconcile the tyranny of the semester and disruptive actions and constantly test new offers. It’s all about vision, culture and strategy. The role of the leader is to create the mental space within which the process of disruption can take place.
American leaders who understood the disruption
Escaping these deep questioning, as all French economic players do, is one of the main reasons for the “fall” of the French company and its loss of influence. A headlong rush that leaves the door wide open to American models who “eat” the world with a very clear, very simple and very powerful vision of the future; the technicalization of the individual. Immortality, sexual robots, end of poverty, luminous plants …
Singularity University, the NASA campus (detail? The American state has invested a trillion dollars in digital technology in twenty years) south of San Francisco has no taboos … American leaders have understood the disruption and with a lot of intelligence, settle in France to capture the best of our brains without anyone being moved.
However, the digital revolution has only just begun and there is still time to reposition itself. With the development of artificial intelligence, robotization and Deep Learning that seem limitless, the great upheavals are before us and digital leaders are not invincible. If tomorrow everyone has a virtual assistant knowing full well his personal preferences, the model of advertising on the Internet will be upset, and Google search will cease to exist.
With the emergence of new forms of language and exchange, users who are never captive can spin off to other horizons and cause the disappearance of
Francois Nemo is Partner at Ifbranding, since 2010, a consulting company in strategy, management and brand design.